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1.  High expression of Tumor Endothelial Marker 7 is associated with metastasis and poor survival of patients with osteogenic sarcoma 
Gene  2007;399(2):137-143.
Our objective is to identify genes regulating metastasis of osteogenic sarcoma (OGS) since metastasis is the primary cause of mortality among patients with OGS. To identify such genes, we first created a database of differentially expressed genes between six low-grade and six high-grade OGS tumors, and between a normal immortalized osteoblast cell line (FOB) and four commercially available OGS-derived cell lines. We specifically searched for surface-proteins over-expressed in high-grade OGS, since we hypothesize that tumor-cell specific surface markers are key to metastasis. A gene encoding Tumor Endothelial Marker7 (TEM7) was selected as a candidate for further study. TEM7 expression pattern was assessed by RT-PCR, Western blotting and immunostaining. TEM7 mRNA was abundantly expressed in SAOS cells (derived from high-grade OGS), but not in FOB or MG63 cells (derived from low-grade OGS). Virtually no expression of TEM7 protein was observed in FOB cells but abundant expression was noted in SAOS and TE85 cells. Employing immunostaining of 92 human OGS specimens (50 high grade and 42 low-grade) collected before chemotherapy show 97% (37 of 38) of high-grade OGS specimens with metastasis have high TEM7 staining. Further, we found that elevated expression of TEM7 correlated with poor survival (p<0.04) of affected patients. Inhibiting TEM7 function by siRNA inhibited invasion and migration of OGS cells with metastatic potential. Our results suggest TEM7 expression level closely parallels histology-based prognostication of OGS metastasis and, therefore, it is a therapeutic target. This is the first demonstration of a link between TEM7 and cancer metastasis.
doi:10.1016/j.gene.2007.05.003
PMCID: PMC2066185  PMID: 17560052
TEM7; Osteogenic sarcoma; Metastasis; siRNA; Tumor marker
2.  Double-Stranded RNA-Dependent Protein Kinase Is Involved in 2-Methoxyestradiol–Mediated Cell Death of Osteosarcoma Cells 
We studied the involvement of interferon-regulated, PKR on 2-ME–mediated actions in human osteosarcoma cells. Our results show that PKR is activated by 2-ME treatment and is necessary for 2-ME–mediated induction of osteosarcoma cell death.
Introduction
Osteosarcoma is the most common primary bone tumor and most frequently develops during adolescence. 2-Methoxyestradiol (2-ME), a metabolite of 17β-estradiol, induces interferon gene expression and apoptosis in human osteosarcoma cells. In this report, we studied the role of interferon-regulated double-stranded (ds)RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR) protein on 2-ME–mediated cell death in human osteosarcoma cells.
Materials and Methods
Western blot analyses were used to measure PKR protein and phosphorylation levels. Cell survival and apoptosis assays were measured using trypan blue exclusion and Hoechst dye methods, respectively. A transient transfection protocol was used to express the dominant negative PKR mutants.
Results and Conclusions
PKR was increased in 2-ME–treated MG63 cells, whereas 17β-estradiol, 4-hydroxyestradiol, and 16α-hydroxyestradiol, which do not induce cell death, had no effect on PKR protein levels. Also, 2-ME treatment induced PKR kinase activity as indicated by increased autophosphorylation and phosphorylation of the endogenous substrate, eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF)-2α. dsRNA poly (I).poly (C), an activator of PKR protein, increased cell death when osteosarcoma cells were treated with a submaximal concentration of 2-ME. In contrast, a serine-threonine kinase inhibitor SB203580 and a specific PKR inhibitor 2-aminopurine (2-AP) blocked the 2-ME–induced cell death in MG63 cells. A dominant negative PKR mutant protein conferred resistance to 2-ME–induced cell death to MG63 osteosarcoma and 2-ME–mediated PKR regulation did not require interferon gene expression. PKR protein is activated in cell free extracts by 2-ME treatment, resulting in autophosphorylation and in the phosphorylation of the substrate eIF-2α. We conclude from these results that PKR is regulated by 2-ME independently of interferon and is essential for 2-ME–mediated cell death in MG63 osteosarcoma cells.
doi:10.1359/JBMR.060914
PMCID: PMC1955766  PMID: 17014383
estrogen metabolite; MG63 cells; interferon; protein kinase; double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase
3.  Potential therapeutic application of gold nanoparticles in B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia (BCLL): enhancing apoptosis 
B-Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) is an incurable disease predominantly characterized by apoptosis resistance. We have previously described a VEGF signaling pathway that generates apoptosis resistance in CLL B cells. We found induction of significantly more apoptosis in CLL B cells by co-culture with an anti-VEGF antibody. To increase the efficacy of these agents in CLL therapy we have focused on the use of gold nanoparticles (GNP). Gold nanoparticles were chosen based on their biocompatibility, very high surface area, ease of characterization and surface functionalization. We attached VEGF antibody (AbVF) to the gold nanoparticles and determined their ability to kill CLL B cells. Gold nanoparticles and their nanoconjugates were characterized using UV-Visible spectroscopy (UV-Vis), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). All the patient samples studied (N = 7) responded to the gold-AbVF treatment with a dose dependent apoptosis of CLL B cells. The induction of apoptosis with gold-AbVF was significantly higher than the CLL cells exposed to only AbVF or GNP. The gold-AbVF treated cells showed significant down regulation of anti-apoptotic proteins and exhibited PARP cleavage. Gold-AbVF treated and GNP treated cells showed internalization of the nanoparticles in early and late endosomes and in multivesicular bodies. Non-coated gold nanoparticles alone were able to induce some levels of apoptosis in CLL B cells. This paper opens up new opportunities in the treatment of CLL-B using gold nanoparticles and integrates nanoscience with therapy in CLL. In future, potential opportunities exist to harness the optoelectronic properties of gold nanoparticles in the treatment of CLL.
doi:10.1186/1477-3155-5-4
PMCID: PMC1876244  PMID: 17488514

Results 1-3 (3)